The last 12 months or so has been anything but normal. For many of us, our routines will have gone out of the window; trying to juggle working from home, home schooling, dealing with being furloughed (or even being out of work), having more family members in the home when you’re used to it just being you and baby…whatever your situation, I’m sure it has been turned upside down in one way or another.
So, as things start to return to some kind of normal, it is important to get back to basics.
When researching baby sleep, you’ll probably come across the term ‘sleep hygiene’ a lot. But, what does it actually mean?
In a nutshell, sleep hygiene is the term used to refer to healthy sleep habits, and includes:
- Your bedroom environment
- Your daily routines
- Having a consistent sleep routine
- Having a pre-bedtime routine
Good sleep hygiene will lead to a good night’s sleep but, how do you do it?
Getting the basics right
By following these tips, you’ll be setting the foundations for your baby’s sleep hygiene and, by doing so, you’ll be well on your way to getting your little one to sleep through the night.
Tip 1 | Consistent daytime routine – this goes for nap times and meal times. Keeping them consistent on a daily basis can make the world of difference to a baby’s sleep routine.
Tip 2 | Daylight – exposure to daylight helps to regulate your baby’s circadian rhythm. Studies have shown that babies who had been exposed to lots of early afternoon light tend to sleep for longer at night.
Tip 3 | Diet and exercise – this plays a huge role in baby sleep. Again, exercise should not be too close to bedtime. Foods rich in tryptophan, such as bananas, will promote sleep.
Tip 4 | Age appropriate amount of sleep – babies need different amounts of sleep depending on their age. Too many, or too few naps throughout the day can lead to difficulties when it comes to getting them down at bedtime. (For more information on age appropriate routines, check out my download, or read more about age appropriate naps here)
Tip 5 | Reduce screen time – during the two hours before bedtime, there should be no exposure to screens. This time should be used to wind down and create a calm environment for your little one.
Tip 6 | Environment – creating a comfortable environment is essential for a good night’s sleep. You can do this by making sure baby’s room is around 18 – 22 degrees, clothe your baby in cotton layers and keep their room really dark (blackout blinds/curtains are a must!) as this produces melatonin which is another sleep-promoting hormone
Tip 7 | Consistent bedtime routine – again, keeping your baby’s bedtime routine consistent helps them to understand and learn when they are getting ready to go to sleep. (Check out my handout for more information)
By following these tips, you’re giving yourself and your little one the very best chance of a good night’s sleep. If they’re still struggling to sleep through the night, get in touch with me for a free consultation.